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Backing for free Sunday parking in Brighton and Hove
Hundreds of people have backed a petition calling for free parking in Brighton and Hove on Sundays.
Brighton and Hove City councillors are set to discuss the plans after a petition calling for the move reached 1,255 signatures – triggering a debate.
The petition was launched last year by local Liberal Democrat members and will be discussed at a full council meeting next Thursday.
While Lib Dem member Jeremy Gale has led the calls for the free parking, the party has no seats on the city council, leaving the Green Party, Labour and Conservatives to have the final decision.
But Mr Gale said introducing free parking would have a major benefit for the city and help the local economy.
He said: “It is clear that residents and visitors are being penalised by the Green administration for wanting to use and park their car.
“Scrapping Sunday parking charges will encourage people to visit Brighton and Hove and spend their money in the shops and with retailers across our city, helping out local economy to prosper.
“Not only do our plans help businesses, they will save residents money as well allowing them to travel across the city, visiting friends or family, safe in the knowledge that they will not be charged for on-street parking.
“That said, I urge councillors from across the chamber to fully engage in the debate the signatures of the petition have triggered.
“Given we have no political representation on the council it seems there’s a really strong public feeling for this measure to go forward.”
Last year the local council raised £16.25 million through parking revenues and fines, the highest in Britain outside London.
Conservative councillor Graham Cox said the idea did have some merit, but to offer blanket free parking would need much more work.
He said: “We think there’s some scope for some free parking on Sundays but it needs to be targeted at the underused car parks and other areas like the seafront in the winter.
“To introduce blanket free parking on a Sunday we’d need to know the full costs, because I suspect it would be extremely expensive.”
According to the council papers for next week, councillors are expected to refer the petition to the policy and resource committee for further consideration.
No one from the Green Party or Labour was available to comment.
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